13. Archaeological Exhibit Inside 50 Bowery Shows Long History of Chinatown Site

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Loorya/Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants

Like most buildings in Chinatown, Hotel 50 Bowery, located at 50 Bowery, has led many lives. It was once a tavern, the Atlantic Garden (a famous German beer garden), a theater, a hotel and a stove dealership. Most recently, it has been a Chinese restaurant, a Popeyes, and a Duane Reade. In recent years, an excavation for the hotel, with archaeological documentation done by Chrysalis Archeological Consultantsuncovered a treasure trove of historical artifacts beneath the site, from a German mineral water bottle to an English creamer jug.

Now, many of these artifacts are on view in a new exhibition inside the hotel. Adding on to 50 Bowery’s layers of history, the hotel is also the site of an exhibit called “Heart of Chinatown,” which relays the Bowery’s vibrant, ever-changing history. Along with 50 Bowery, The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) installed this permanent, 1,500 square-foot exhibit on the second floor of the hotel in The Gallery.